Horses To Follow » Educated Evans

Educated Evans

Educated Evans ran a cracker in the Class 2 two-mile handicap chase at Chepstow on Saturday for a horse coming from an out of form yard and on the back of a really disappointing run previously.

After falling early on his chase debut at Perth in September, he won his next two races, both handicaps, the second one a novice handicap, and he looked very progressive. He was just getting the better of things with Sollim, with Sam Twiston-Davies yet to fully go for him, when Sollim came down at the last at Newbury on his penultimate run and, having gone up 11lb for winning at Chepstow, he was raised another 11lb after that Newbury win. He just didn’t run his race at all for whatever reason on his next start at Warwick in mid-January, he was a little recalcitrant at the start and took no interest in the race whatsoever, soon tailing himself off and having to be pulled up early on.

The Bishop Of Cashel gelding was back in the form he was in early in the season on Saturday, travelling nicely, taking it up from Arctic Ben early in the home straight and looking like a potential winner until the second last when he was claimed by Oh Crick. The winner had a lot in his favour, he was on his lowest handicap mark for nearly three years, he was sparked back into life by first-time blinkers, and he was well backed prior to the off. Educated Evans jumped the second last poorly and looked booked for third as Arctic Ben re-passed him for second between the last two, but he rallied gamely to get back up for second, he does stay further – his Newbury win was over two miles and three furlongs and he stayed on strongly up the home straight there to draw clear of the rest – and he should be better when stepped back up in trip now. He can also do better when his yard is in better form (they had had just one winner from 41 runners in February by the end of racing on Saturday) and, having now run just five times over fences, he can progress again. He has been left unchanged on his mark of 132 after this run, and that mark should be just enough to see him sneak in at the bottom of the weights for the Pulteney Land Investments Chase at Cheltenham (the old Centenary Novices’ Chase), and he would be interesting there were he to take his chance.

25th February 2012